The Blue Guitar

The Blue Guitar

A Novel

eBook - 2015
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John Banville, the Man Booker Prize–winning author of The Sea and Ancient Light, now gives us a new novel—at once trenchant, witty, and shattering—about the intricacies of artistic creation, about theft, and about the ways in which we learn to possess one another, and to hold on to ourselves.Equally self-aggrandizing and self-deprecating, our narrator, Oliver Otway Orme ("O O O. An absurdity. You could hang me over the door of a pawnshop"), is a painter of some renown and a petty thief who has never before been caught and steals only for pleasure. Both art and the art of thievery have been part of his "endless effort at possession," but now he's pushing fifty, feels like a hundred, and things have not been going so well. Having recognized the "man-killing crevasse" that exists between what he sees and any representation he might make of it, he has stopped painting. And his last act of thievery—the last time he felt its "secret shiver of bliss"—has been discovered. The fact that the purloined possession was the wife of the man who was, perhaps, his best friend has compelled him to run away—from his mistress, his home, his wife; from whatever remains of his impulse to paint; and from a tragedy that has long haunted him—and to sequester himself in the house where he was born. Trying to uncover in himself the answer to how and why things have turned out as they have, excavating memories of family, of places he has called home, and of the way he has apprehended the world around him ("one of my eyes is forever turning towards the world beyond"), Olly reveals the very essence of a man who, in some way, has always been waiting to be rescued from himself.From the Hardcover edition.
Publisher: 2015
ISBN: 9780385354271
Characteristics: 1 online resource

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m
Mazzarati
Jan 08, 2019

Loved this book! I hadn’t read any John Banville before but I think I found a new favorite author. This book is for readers who enjoy being taken on a journey through elaborate but modern prose. I am already onto the next J Banville book, Mrs Osmond!

a
adhopkins
Oct 03, 2016

This is the oddest book I've read. It has little to do with actual happenings that occur, and is almost entirely inside the narrator's head. I read it through to the end, hoping for some relief from the introspection. I was disappointed.

m
mardougherty
Jun 28, 2016

If you read for plot this is not for you. Very introspective

g
gr8cookiemaker
Mar 20, 2016

Tight, elegant prose, as expected from this master stylist. Plot is secondary. Read this for the language alone. Sad tale about living life on the periphery, misusing people, dallying in love and art and thievery but not being committed to anything. The point? I didn't really care. Just went along for the glorious ride.

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